Government insists UK will make "sufficient progress" in Brexit talks by October to push on with next phase

William Turvill
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 (Source: Getty)

The government has insisted it will have made “sufficient progress” in Brexit talks with the EU by October to move on to the “next phase” of negotiations.

The assertion, from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU), comes after reports suggested talks on the future UK-EU relationship may be delayed.

The parties are due to begin the next round of talks later this month, with Brexit secretary David Davis this week beginning to lay out a series of UK positioning papers.

Theresa May’s government is keen to push ahead with talks on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, but the European Commission has insisted that these discussions can only begin when “sufficient progress” has been made on exit terms.

Sky News reported last night that UK cabinet ministers were privately admitting talks on the post-Brexit relationship may be pushed back from October to December.

But a DexEU spokesperson said today: “As the secretary of state has said, it is important that both sides demonstrate a dynamic and flexible approach to each round of the negotiations.

“Government officials are working at pace and we are confident we will have made sufficient progress by October to advance the talks to the next phase.”

Read more: City eyes its own Brexit positioning paper after customs plans laid out

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